[Pedro] Martinez had his shortest outing of the season for Boston, giving up six runs in four innings, and the Texas Rangers won 8-5 to complete a sweep in the doubleheader matching division leaders.
It was the Rangers' first series sweep of Boston since August 1999. They got their 16th win, tying San Diego for most in the majors.Oh, and by the way, if anyone asks, the title of 'Austin's favorite player in all of MLB' has become a shared honor: Michael Young is now joined by Hank Blalock. Why? Couple of reasons:
"You hear some guys say 'oh, it's not about the money,' but with Hank it's really not about the money,'' says Showalter. "There is nothing materialistic or phony about Hank.''
The Rangers say there is little risk given the talent and the character of the player. Last year, Blalock hit .300 with 29 home runs and 90 RBI. He also hit a two-run home run off Eric Gagne in the All-Star Game that gave the American League a 5-4 victory. This season, Blalock is back at it, hitting .333 and with 18 RBI through Wednesday. Defensively, he gets better every day. When Showalter offers a compliment, Blalock says, "just doing my job, dude.''
When Rangers pitcher R.A. Dickey moved his wife, two children and a third on the way into an apartment near the ballpark, Blalock heard about it, and would hear nothing of it. He offered his house to Dickey, saying that a growing family shouldn't be cramped in an apartment; Blalock and his wife would find another house in which to live.Finally, a ballplayer children really should try to emulate!
Blalock is not in this for fame or publicity, just to win and to hit, much like one of Showalter's favorite players, Don Mattingly. Former teammate Alex Rodriguez offered Blalock the chance to fly to last year's All-Star Game on A-Rod's private jet after the Rangers' game that Sunday. Blalock respectfully declined, opting to take a 7 a.m. commercial flight the next day with his wife. Blalock said he might never get back to the All-Star Game, and he wanted he, and his wife, to savor every minute of it.
Starting with the commissioner's office, and filtering down through various officialdom, club executives, and certainly the East Coast media, all of baseball's deep thinkers were united over the winter in offering one strong opinion.Man, I've got a lot of catch-up reading to do...
For the good of the game, A-Rod must be rescued.
Rescued from the Texas wilderness.
Go to Boston, or go to New York City. But go where A-Rod's ample skills could be properly appreciated by a wiser and more educated audience. This man was a winner, so allow him to mingle with his own kind. Winners.
The best player in the game, sniffed the baseball sophisticates, should not be playing in Arlington, Texas.
So, as Alex the Great struggles at the moment in New York to keep his average above .250, I've got important news for the East Coast chapter of Baseball Einsteins Inc.
One month and two games into this season, guess what?
The best player in the game, as of May 3, continues to play in Arlington, Texas.
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